Donna Summer Last Dance at 63

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Posted by Linda Seccaspina on May 17, 2012 at 12:00pm

A little piece of my heart broke this morning as I just heard that Donna Summer has died at the age of 63. I saw her once back in the disco days in Ottawa and fell in love with her beauty and talent. So enamored of her I used a lot of her music in the first Disco fashion show ever done in the Ottawa/ Hull area at Saks Disco Bar in the 70’s.

 

Saks was filed to capacity that night and people were standing on beer cases to see the stage, yet when her music came on everyone swayed and sang together. There has not been a week that I have not played her music and until I die my tradition will not stop.

Donna’s real name was actually LaDonna Adrian Gaines born in December of 1948 just barely hours away from the New Year. Influenced by the great gospel singer Mahalia Jackson she began singing in the church choir.

In the 60’s Summer and her sister and cousin formed a musical group imitating her fave Motown groups comparing themselves to The Supremes. However, that was short lived and she joined a band called The Crow attempting to sound like Janis Joplin. In 1968 she tried to join the Broadway musical Hair and lost out to singer Melba Moore for the part of Sheila. When the musical went to Europe she got chosen and ended up in Germany for a few years doing German musicals

While singing as a backup for the 70’s band Three Dog Night she met music producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte. In 1975, Summer approached Moroder with an idea for a song she and Bellotte were working on for another singer. She had come up with the lyric “love to love you, baby.”

Although some radio stations refused to play it due to its suggestive style, “Love to Love You” found chart success in several European countries, and made the Top 5 in the UK and the rest is history.

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The icon died today at the age of 63 and is understood to have battled lung cancer that she believed she contracted by inhaling toxic particles after the  9/11 attacks. Sources told TMZ she had attempted to keep the extent of her illness from fans and was recently trying to finish up her latest album in Florida at the time of her death. Summer was was a 5-time Grammy winner who shot to stardom in the ’70s and people like me bought and played hits like “Last Dance,” “Hot Stuff” and “Bad Girls” and will miss her greatly.

Summer is survived by her husband Bruce Sudano, their daughters Brooklyn and Amanda, as well as her daughter Mimi from her previous marriage


Donna, you may have died today but you will never be a “Last Dance” in my heart. I will meet you in MacArthur Park some day Donna, I promise.

                


Linda Seccaspina 1978

Thanks to Wanda Rudd! Wanda, you are a Disco historian!

Love and hugs to: Jacki Koupri Armstrong, Michael LaFleur, Dennis Charlebois and the late Disco Viva in Hull, Quebe.

Clothing design by Linda (Ducharme) Seccaspina from the late Flash Cadilac Clothing Co. in Ottawa Ontario. 

Photos of Disco Viva, Hull, Quebec  by DJ Don Tremblay

Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac and 5 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada.

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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